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Television Is Destroying Today's Youth, but Don't Blame T.V., Blame the Parents.

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Essay title: Television Is Destroying Today's Youth, but Don't Blame T.V., Blame the Parents.

Ever since television was invented, it has become increasingly controversial every year since. So many programs and movies shown on television have become increasingly violent and show sexual innuendos and sexual content. If you were to turn on the six o’ clock news, you would hear about the murders and the kidnappings and the rapes and all of the horrible things which happen in society, presented in a neutral manner which makes them all seem not quite so bad. Imagine how that looks to twelve year old child. Television has, since its invention, always been America’s favorite source of entertainment. As society has changed, violence and sexual content have been added ever so increasingly over the years. After all, isn’t that what makes T.V. shows interesting? Isn’t that why we all want to go see that new movie that came out which is rated R instead of that movie rated PG? Although this violence and sexual content on television and in movies is having devastating effects on America’s youth, you cannot blame television. Instead, we must blame our parents. So many parents these days do not take the time to talk to their children about what they see on T.V. For that matter, most parents do not even know what their children are watching.

According to Nielson Media Research, in 1950, only 10% of American homes had a television and by 1960 the percentage had grown to 90%. Today 99% of homes have a television. In fact, more families own a television than a phone. Would you believe that 54% of U.S. children have a television set in their bedrooms? They do. I suppose that when you look at those statistics it would be no surprise at all to learn that fifty-five percent of children questioned usually watch television alone or with a friend, but not with their families. Children spend more time learning about life through media than in any other manner. The average child spends approximately 28 hours a week watching television, which is twice as much time as they spend in school. This is absolutely appalling when you think about it. Where are the parents? Why is television raising our children when our parents should be doing this? Not only is television meant for entertainment only, but if this is the source of our youth learning about life, our youth are getting a distorted view of the way things are. According to the National Television Violence Study, the context in which violence is portrayed is as important to its impact as the amount of violence. The study concluded that 66% of children's programming had violence. Of the shows with violent content three-quarters demonstrated unpunished violence and when violence occurred 58% of the time, victims were not shown experiencing pain. Forty-six percent of all television violence identified by the study took place in children's cartoons. Children's programs were least likely to depict the long-term consequences of violence (5%) and they portray violence in a humorous fashion 67% of the time. Imagine Wylie Coyote chasing the road runner. Something extremely violent always happens to the coyote, yet he always walks away from the “accident” completely unscathed. What is this saying about violence to today’s youth?

This level of violence has been showed to have numerous negative effects on the youth of America. Media violence often fails to show the consequences of violence. This is especially true of cartoons, toy commercials and music videos. As a result, children learn that there are few if any repercussions for committing violent acts. Television violence is especially damaging to young children (under age 8) because they cannot easily tell the difference between real life and fantasy. Violent images on television and in movies may seem real to young children. They can be traumatized by viewing these images. Extensive viewing of television violence by children causes greater aggressiveness. Sometimes, watching a single violent program can increase aggressiveness. Children who view shows in which violence is very realistic, frequently repeated, or unpunished, are more likely to imitate what they see. (“Media Violence”) Children with emotional, behavioral, learning or impulse control problems may be more easily influenced by TV violence. The impact of TV violence may be immediately evident in the child's behavior or may surface years later, and young people can even be affected when the family atmosphere shows no tendency toward violence. Violence on television also affects children by:

o Increasing anti-social behavior.

o Increasing their fear of becoming victims.

o Making them less sensitive to violence and to victims of violence.

o Increasing their appetite for more violence in entertainment and in real life.

o Increased

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